“It would be fair to assume that any new vehicle program so close to launch would be looking to finalise items such as climate-control calibrations and engine ventilation in extreme environments such as the Northern Territory,” says Craig Smith, Renault Australia communications manager.
The photos show various parts of the car, but no overall shots. But Renault claims the car will be sleek and elegant. “Speculation in Europe is that the car will be bigger than the current model and come with a range of hi-tech diesels,” Smith says. “Quality targets for the program have been very high with benchmarks set against the likes of BMW and Mercedes.”
Renault Australia is hoping to have the car in mid to late 2008. The current Laguna, which is offered in diesel-only configuration in Australia, has sold only 19 so far this year.
“Current Laguna sales are less than we would like but we are confident in the diesel-only strategy,” Smith says. “One of the key drivers of launching the current car late last year was to keep the nameplate ticking over until we launch the new car.”
The new Laguna, called the X91 project, is the flagship model for the marque's “product revolution” of new models over the next few years.
It will be fully revealed on June 4. However a preview website, has been launched and further details will gradually be revealed closer to the car's official launch. The site also includes a video of the car undergoing hot-weather testing in Malaysia at the hands of Renault F1 Teams drivers, Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen.